Reading to young children is associated with good outcomes and new studies tell us a little more about what actually happens when you read a picture book to a small child. A recent study found more brain activity depending on how much the children had been read to at home. The part of the brain that becomes activated is also the part of the brain that becomes active when children read to themselves.
The findings reinforced how important it is that young children hear language, and that they need to hear it from people, not from screens. The language that children hear in a book is more “unique word types” than found in every day conversation. “So reading picture books with young children may mean that they hear more words, while at the same time, their brains practice creating the images associated with those words.”
“Reading to children has a very important role to play in building brain networks that will serve children long-term as they transition from verbal to reading.” Reading to children also makes them feel safe and loved—reading it true comfort food for children.